One of the nation's leading biomedical scientists and innovators will highlight the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's 20th Annual Research Symposium on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008, on the Virginia Tech campus. The annual event showcases student and faculty research in the veterinary college.

Dr. Anthony Atala, the W.H. Boyce Professor and chair of the Department of Urology and director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University will present the keynote address at the symposium. Atala is a surgeon specializing in pediatric urology with research interests in regenerative medicine.

His current work focuses on growing new human cells, tissues, and organs. He is a recipient of the congressionally funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, which is bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society. He has also been awarded the Gold Cystoscope Award for advancements in his field.

In 2006, he was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of 50 people who “will change how we work and live over the next 10 years,” and his work was listed as Discover Magazine`s No. 1 Top Science Story of the Year in the field of medicine in 2007. A Time Magazine poll ranked Atala as the 56th most influential person of the year in 2007.

During the research symposium, graduate students who are engaged in their last year of study will present their research in fifteen-minute time slots. All other students will participate in poster sessions. Prizes will be awarded for the best presentations and the best poster sessions in both basic and clinical science categories.

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